What I'm Thankful For

What I'm Thankful For

MC Midweek Nov. 22, 2022

by Jeff Prince, Minister to Students

Back when the world’s primary source for daily print news was a newspaper, I loved reading the Charlotte Observer; especially the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving Day Sport section. On the same day the All-County & All-State High school football teams were revealed, local columnist, Ron Green, released his annual ‘things I’m thankful for’ list. Green loved golf and almost always mentioned pimento cheese sandwiches at The Masters. He supported the University of North Carolina and almost always mentioned at least one famous Tarheel basketball coach. Green knew some of the local wrestlers and almost always mentioned Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes or both. I remember not knowing I was thankful for many of his same things until I saw them in print. It was as if they were stuck inside my mind and I needed Green to pull them out.

I’m no Ron Green, but, in no particular order, here are a few of the many things I’m thankful for: a good cup of coffee, my cat Faith, Friday morning Zoom calls with Brian and David, hockey sweaters, Stranger Things, Cobra Kai, clean water, Trader Joe’s, Cheerwine, almonds, t-shirts, friends, friends who permit and challenge me to share when I don’t think I can, a great pen, one good ear, some old music, some new music, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie, parades on Thanksgiving Day, family, turkey, stuffing, turning twelve at Mt. Carmel and, although it’s been a tough year, my health. It goes without saying I’m thankful for the students, parents and leaders who allow me to live out my calling. I love you and thanks for twelve great years. When the greater church begins to grow, I believe we’ll be ready.

In Luke’s gospel, we read one day Jesus went into a village on the border between Galilee and Samaria. He was met by ten men suffering from a dreaded skin disease. They stood at a distance and shouted, “Jesus! Master! Take pity on us!” Jesus said to them, “Go and let the priests examine you.” On the way, they were healed. One man returned to thank Jesus, and he was a Samaritan. Quick sidenote, Jews and Samaritans did not get along very well. Jesus asked where the other nine were who were healed and then said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” My focus should be on the one guy who came back, but all I can do is think about the nine who did not. Why didn’t they return as well?

One of the missing pieces in today’s world and church is thankfulness. We are used to having it our way, we feel entitled and when those two exist, there’s not much room for thankfulness. If up until today thankfulness has not been your thing, begin this week and then let gratitude flow from your heart like brown gravy over mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving day. Who knows, maybe I’ll write a Ron Green-esque article like this every year and I pray I almost always mentioned how thankful I am for Jesus.